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"I Vote This Way Because I'M Wrong": The Supreme Court Justice As Epimenides, John M. Rogers Jan 1991

"I Vote This Way Because I'M Wrong": The Supreme Court Justice As Epimenides, John M. Rogers

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Possibly the most unsettling phenomenon in the Supreme Court's 1988 term was Justice White's decision to vote contrary to his own exhaustively stated reasoning in Pennsylvania v. Union Gas Co. His unexplained decision to vote against the result of his own analysis lends support to those who argue that law, or at least constitutional law, is fundamentally indeterminate. Proponents of the indeterminacy argument sometimes base their position on the allegedly inescapable inconsistency of decisions made by a multi-member court. There is an answer to the inconsistency argument, but it founders if justices sometimes vote, without explanation, on the ...


Justice Brennan And The First Amendment Minefield: In Respectful Appreciation, Ralph Michael Stein Jan 1991

Justice Brennan And The First Amendment Minefield: In Respectful Appreciation, Ralph Michael Stein

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

It is a special privilege, and a personal joy, for me to have the opportunity to contribute a piece honoring such a revered figure. I make no claim to scholarly objectivity. My premise is simple: William J. Brennan has given us a legacy of first amendment decisions, concurrences, and dissents that reflect great honor on the jurist. My portion of this Festschrift provides selected examples of Justice Brennan's contribution, and concludes by thanking him for serving, through his opinions, as a mentor for me throughout my career as a teacher of constitutional law.